Happy December! People have been asking me for recs and I realized that the timing of my end of year summary blog posts has not been ideal. In January, I post all the books I’ve read and then list my top 5 or so. Since I pride myself on making recommendations to be helpful and THIS is the time people would actually be purchasing books, either for themselves or as gifts, I am going to change things around a bit. Below are my favorite books of the year that I’ve read so far. I know there are only a couple weeks left in December, but I always go on a family trip the first week of winter break and I save up for/bring lots of books on this trip, many of which I’m sure I will love (including one written by a good friend so I’m going to recommend it anyway because 1. I loved her last book 2. I love her so I know I will love it and 3. You should buy it because she’s awesome).
So here we go, my favorite books (linked below) that I’ve read in 2022 thus far:
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin Zevin also wrote The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, and if you haven’t read that – please do. I wrote about it in a post a few years ago – it was my favorite book I read in 2017 (even though it came out in 2014). It’s also now a movie for rent on Amazon Prime but I haven’t seen it yet. This current novel is not as mainstream a topic (video game creators, don’t be afraid) but I loved it.
- Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel – Bonnie Garm I wrote about this one in my last post so please scroll down for my thoughts.
- American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins I also wrote about this one in my last post.
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab This one was discussed two posts ago.
- The One – John Marrs Take a simple DNA test and get matched with your soul mate thanks to the discovery of the gene that pairs you with the person meant for you. Test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships/marriages, but wouldn’t it be worth it? Depends on the secrets your true love has I suppose. Creepy and suspenseful and interesting to ponder. (The One is also a one-season series on Netflix from 2021 that I have not watched yet.)
Top Beach Reads (or lighter fare but still great):
- Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren Also discussed two posts ago, but let me say again how much I loved this book. I know this style of books is not for everyone but do not discount a lighter read. Good writing is good writing; it should be appreciated and lauded.
- Nora Goes Off Script – Annabel Monaghan Nora is a romance channel screenwriter whose latest script is picked up for the big screen and then filmed on location in her 100-year-old-home starring a former Sexiest Man Alive. I bet you can’t guess what happens next. Well, maybe you can, but it won’t be exactly what you think and who cares? It’s so so good.
- Book Lovers – Emily Henry Scroll down to previous post.
- To Sir, with Love – Lauren Layne A little You’ve Got Mailish but that’s ok. Still a fun read.
- Part of Your World – Abby Jimenez This is a sweet book about two very different people, a big city ER doc and a small town carpenter, who fall for each other.
Bonus rec that I haven’t read yet because I’m saving it for my trip so I can pass it around to my family members but think you should purchase as a holiday gift for everyone you know:
Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives – Mary Laura Philpott I have linked it to her local bookstore so you can help support them when purchasing! Win win!!
Movies to watch on a plane if you are traveling or for when you’re just looking for some fun entertainment whilst hanging at home:
- Obviously Top Gun: Maverick
- Bullet Train Five assassins aboard a super-fast train, including Brad Pitt, have interweaving missions. It’s clever, funny and super violent but in such an over-the-top way that it’s almost ok.
- Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – SO sweet!!
- Tenet This movie got upended by Covid. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should, and you really need to pay attention.
- The Lost City If you love Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sandra Bullock, this is your movie.
I have two interesting (free and linked below) apps for you.
- Yuka – This one my friend Nancy’s son who lives in LA told me about. It allows you to scan personal care products using their barcodes and rates them from 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent) so you can see how healthy they are for you, based on their ingredients. Be prepared to feel like you should be throwing away everything currently on your sink counter.
- Soon – I have lists everywhere; on post it notes, in my (paper) calendar, and especially on my Notes app. These lists are for the books I’ve read, the books I want to read, the tv shows I “should be” watching, the restaurants that have been recommended to me, etc. My college friend Jenny told me she had the app for me! Soon has all these categories and more (hotels, stores, museums, etc), you just add your items to the appropriate list – all in one nice app.
The one show I’m going to recommend here because your whole family can watch together is “Be My Guest With Ina Garten” on the Food Network. Who doesn’t love Ina? In each episode she invites a (famous) friend over. First she prepares something for them, then they chat a bit, then they make something together. She had me at the first episode of season 2 wherein she made Frozen Palomas for Faith Hill. YUM.
I wish you all a wonderful, safe, healthy and super fun holiday!!
Going to add Soon to my phone. Sounds like a perfect answer for me. Love Ina Garten’s guest show. I watch it avidly. Thanks for the list of books. I’m going to read , and read.
Great work as always cuz! The one is such an interesting idea…